Someone’s Talking About You on Social Media…What Will You Do?

Someone’s Talking About You on Social Media…What Will You Do?

talking about brand review sites

I know most people are skeptical about Yelp, Google Local, TripAdvisor and other review sites, and none more skeptical than a business owner with a bad review posted on one of these sites. “It’s probably one of my competitors, posting a false review.” Whether it is your evil competitor trying to take you down or your newest fan raving about you, these sites cannot be ignored.

With over 178 million monthly users on Yelp, 260 million users posting reviews on TripAdvisor , and 2.23 BILLION active users on Facebook, (as of June 2018) all itching to have their voices heard, companies have to monitor their brands and make time to engage and reply to these reviewers.  With a little attention to these reviews, you can turn around a bad experience and build loyalty, and on good reviews you can boost the love and create a viral spread.

  1. Reply to comments and social reviews quickly 

    When someone takes the time to write any comment about your business, they are giving you a gift. Don't leave that gift unacknowledged.  Make sure you have notifications turned on for comments on your website and that you either check once or twice a day all of your social channels or turn those notifications on as well so you don't miss comments there. There is nothing worse than leaving a question or comment and never hearing back. Whether you receive a great compliment or a horrible review, be sure to thank the person for taking the time to provide you with feedback. One thing I learned from raising my 4 children is, what you recognize or reward will be repeated. Thank people for bringing you the feedback.

  2. Apologize…SINCERELY!

    Again, something I learned from my kids during those teenaged years; an apology that starts with SOR-RY and includes BUT… is not an apology. It is an excuse. I had the opportunity to sit with a woman in a cable company call center, Mary Delgado, who was the escalation desk for the vilest of customers. She took call after call from people who were cussing at her, screaming into their phones (over cable TV, no less).  Mary would listen without interrupting and then her first response would be, “Oh my goodness. I am so sorry you have had to go through this. This should NOT have happened.  I am going to get this taken care of.” It was so classic. You could almost see the person on the end of the line squirming as they tried to come up with another comeback. Their anger couldn’t compete with her willingness to own the problem and seek a resolution.  Sometimes all a wronged customer wants is to be heard and to hear a sincere apology.

  3. Don't delete the comment

    Show, in public, how you are going to make things right or at least ensure it doesn't happen again.  Most review sites don’t allow you to delete a review, but Facebook does if the comment is left on the page and not in the review area. I have seen companies delete negative reviews, thinking the person will just quietly go away. If you delete an angry comment on your site, the customer will take it to a public space where you have no control and it WILL get ugly. I am shocked to see review sites where a company either denies that the problem happened, basically calling the customer a lier (Most classic is the Blue Sky Hostel owner in Glasgow who calls the customer a blind, fat, a retard and the firestorm of comments back and forth between the owner, the angry customer and everyone else who chimed in for entertainment that wasn’t available on any television network. You can find the Buzzfeed post here with screenshots. Which is another reason why you should never delete a negative comment–the person has most likely taken screenshots in case they need to go to the public.

    So what can you do about it? If it is something you need to investigate to find out if it is true, you can HIDE a comment on Facebook, but on any site, you should contact the person who posted the review and ask them to contact you via private message to resolve the issue. When they don't respond, you can assume the person isn't looking for a resolution.

    Whether it’s a negative review, an old embarrassing photo of yourself, or anything that shows up on the web that you wish would just go away, the one thing you CAN do is put out lots of good content that is attached to your brand, to push those old reviews down. It will take time, but it works.

  4. Ask for reviews and recommendations on your social media sites.

    When a delighted customer tells you they had great service or loves your product, immediately ask if they would mind writing a review for you on one of your social sites.  Let them know how it helps your business and then thank them.  Talk to your team and remind them to think digital first and get those recommendations in video, on social sites or anywhere else that the world can see.

I'd love to hear from you. Have you left reviews on a social review site? Do you expect a response? How do you feel if you get one?

If you need help keeping up with all of the responses and connecting with your social audience, contact us today.…it's what we do!

Contact me on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn

social media marketing small business, hotels, social business

Stop Using These Crappy Images On Your Social Media Posts

Stop Using These Crappy Images On Your Social Media Posts

images and photos for social media and marketingSometimes I think I should have been a nun instead of getting into marketing and social media. Not the kind of nun that sings, like on Sound of Music or Italy’s “The Voice,” but the kind in the 1950’s who walked around with a ruler, ready to smack children on the knuckles when they used crappy images on their social media posts!

There are only a few things that send me over the edge when it comes to how poorly some companies are using social media: One is when they don’t respond to a comment or question left for them on one of their social sites, proving they don’t really want people to talk to them, they simply want everyone to read their stuff.

Another is when people use those idiotic services like TrueTwit validation to make others on Twitter prove they are not robots by going to a robot site and jumping through a bunch of hoops.  (See a past post for more on that rant here).

And the one that my team, here at SocialKNX, has heard me preach over and over again (with my ruler in hand) is when people and especially brands, use crappy images on their social media sites.  I think my issue started back in the days when Microsoft's Screen Bean characters were all the rage in corporate presentations and marketing material.

crappy images



I wanted to rip things apart when I would see them.  (Anger management courses have helped a bit.)




But today it's even worse when great visuals are available everywhere and the cameras we carry in our back pockets take fantastic photos, there is just no excuse for poor images (except laziness, or a love for screen beans) being used on our websites, blog posts or social media sites.

Every social platform allows for very large images and we want to take advantage of every pixel we can. I love using Canva to ensure we are sizing the images correctly. Their templates for social media sites are very helpful, and they do a pretty good job of keeping up with the ever-changing sizes.

Here are some of the types of images that will get knuckles cracked, and why:

Clip Art (of any kind)

bad images

These just have the same smell as my great grandmother's TV room.  They are old and stale. A great photo of an actual boy on a tricycle or a cool close up of a tricycle would be more intriguing and interesting than this one.  Take a trip this weekend and snap some great photos to use instead.








Why not go with something more interesting?

Photo by Rodolfo Mari on Unsplash

Phony team or corporate porn

corny images

Oh, these are bad on so many levels, it's hard to know where to start! First, any of the overly staged, fake corporate team photos tell the world you don't even try. You may have purchased these photos from Shutterstock or iStockPhoto, but you didn't look past the first 3 or 4 choices.  A personal favorite is the overly enthusiastic team meeting photo that shows everyone giving high fives around a flipchart! Come on! Show us, REAL people, doing real office activities. I know they are harder to find. You have to look at new collections or unique sites like Unpsplash. Better yet, get your own team members to pose for a few shots, or look for great photos that depict the message you are trying to convey.  The fake looking, overly-staged pics are called corporate porn. They should be banned and someone should lose their job for even looking at them on company computers!

where to find great images for social

Photo by Steven Lelham on Unsplash

Corny Images

corny images bad images for social media corny images dont use these in social media












No explanation needed! You're just embarrassing yourself if you are using these anywhere. Don't make me get my ruler out.

Where to Get Great Images

So where do you go to find these GREAT images?  Here are 12 stock photo libraries to get you started.  You will still have to look through their collections to find the great ones.

The photographs from the first 8 sites are free from copyright restrictions or licensed under creative commons public domain dedication. This means you can copy, modify, distribute and perform the work, even for commercial purposes, all without asking permission.

However, some photos may require attribution. We’ve done our best to identify which license they fall under but we still advise you to do your own research and determine how these images can be used.

The last 3 resources are paid stock photo sites that are great for those who blow through hundreds or thousands of images a month. You need more than one place to find just the right image to tell your stories!

Here you go:

  1. Unsplash – This website offers amazing and beautiful photos absolutely free. It's one of my favorites.
  2. Pexels – Pexels is another great resource offering high quality and completely free stock photos licensed under the Creative Commons Zero (CC0) license.
  3. StockSnap – This website offers many similar images to the paid subscription sites (probably the images that didn't get purchased from them). They are free and free from copyright restrictions.
  4. Life of Pix – a great collection of high-resolution images with no copyright restrictions.
  5. BURST (by Shopify)– All photos are licensed under Creative Commons CC0 and can be used as you see fit.
  6. Picography – Beautiful free images to use however you'd like.
  7. PicJumbo – This site offers free images you can use without copyright restrictions and you will also find a “premium” level for more hidden gems.
  8. StyledStock -This site offers free “feminine” stock photography for every woman entrepreneur. The collection is totally free for your commercial & personal works.
  9. Pikwizard– This site offers over 100,000 completely free images on the site and over 20,000 are exclusive to Pikwizard. They have a lot of pictures of people in business settings which is helpful for corporate accounts.
  10. Deposit Photos– a typical subscription stock photo site. You must pay for individual photos or buy a monthly subscription to download the images.
  11. Shutterstock– a typical subscription stock photo site. You must pay for individual photos or buy a monthly subscription to download the images.
  12. iStock Photos– a typical subscription stock photo site. You must pay for individual photos or buy a monthly subscription to download the images.

Don't forget that photographer inside of YOU. You can take some great pics with your mobile devices and then add a bit of pizazz with apps like A Beautiful Mess, or even Instagram.  Don't settle for boring images.

Infographics are another great way to add visual appeal to your social media marketing.  Check out tools like Canva,, Piktochart, Venngage, and if you want a little help, check out 

how to make infographics for social media posts

Do you have a type of image that makes you cringe?  Do you have another great resource that you use for great images? I'd love to continue the conversation here in the comments or on our Facebook Group.

Connect with me on Twitter or via email

A Recipe for Social Marketing Success: Turn More Likes into Leads


You are trying to keep up with all of the posting and tweeting that everyone has said you should be doing as part of your social marketing. You spend an hour in the morning LIKING and commenting on the posts from everyone else, you write a few tweets and post what you are working on in your LinkedIn profile and on Facebook. So when is this supposed to start working?

Social media is one ingredient in your social marketing success recipe, well it’s actually several different ingredients. You also have email marketing, your blog, videos that you create (You are creating videos aren’t you?) and many others. Like 50 different ingredients sitting on your counter top, it’s not until you mix them together that you can make something delicious!

Here are 4 steps you can take to cook up a LIKES to LEADS plan this week:

  1. Create a “lead magnet.”

    A lead magnet is something your target audience would gladly exchange their email address for. Perhaps it’s a list of case studies, or a checklist that will help them do their jobs better or faster. Do you have a webinar you have recorded and can give away in exchange for that email address?  These are examples of lead magnets. Create these in a Word doc and save this as a PDF. Now upload it into your website as a media file. (Your web manager can help you with this if the last place you want to be is the back end of your website.)

    roi on social marketing value offers top social marketing company

  2. Create a landing page to capture the email addresses.

    Before you get intimidated by this task, there are a couple options to make this easy. One– have your wonderful web manager create this. It is not difficult. Two- you can use a great tool like Leadpages. Leadpages has hundreds of templates for you to quickly customize and link it with your email system (Mailchimp, Constant Contact, Infusionsoft, etc.). You really don’t need any advanced graphic skills, only about 30 minutes to set each one up. Regardless of who is creating the landing page, you need to decide what information you want to capture from these leads. The less information you ask for, the higher your conversion rate will be. People don’t want to give their name, address, phone number, email, date of birth, blood type, etc. Ask only for what you need. If you are going to want to follow up with a phone call, then you need their name, email and phone number. (I believe you should always grab an email address) When your landing page is complete, you will have a URL that will be used in the next step.

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  3. Write a short blog post that can tie into this lead magnet.

    Example: If you have created a lead magnet with your “Top 50 Secret Tips for Getting Ahead on Your Job,” perhaps you can write a blog post or a series of posts about productivity, professional image, working with difficult people, tips and tactics for overcoming office politics, and the list could go on and on.  At the bottom of your blog post you are going to have a CTA (call to action) such as, “Download Our 50 Secret Tips for Getting Ahead on Your Job,” and add the hyperlink to that text with the URL from your landing page. Ideally you would want to create a nice graphic to embed your link into to call more attention to it at the bottom of your blog posts.

  4. Now come the social media ingredients.

    Craft tweets, Facebook posts, LinkedIn updates, Instagram graphics (whatever platforms you are using) that will point people to your blog posts. You can also create posts that will take people directly to the value offer’s landing page.  You might have a few tweets and posts like, “New Tactics to the Old Problem of Dealing with Office Politics” and add the link to your blog post. You can also create a few posts that read, “Download our 50 secret tips for getting ahead on your job” and link directly to the landing page for that lead magnet.

And like any great meal, you will want to repeat the process and make something for next time! While you certainly can use the same value offer and CTA at the bottom of several blog posts, if you can continue to create one or two new ones each month, you will be able to mix them in and keep people coming back for more of your delicious content.

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If this all sounds yummy, but you simply don’t have the time or desire to do it all yourself, call us and we’ll cook up the greatness for you!

Connect with Gina on Twitter @GinaSchreck 

social media marketing small business, hotels, social business

Gina is the president at SocialKNX. She loves writing, exotic travel and spending time with her husband and two mini-doxies in their Chicago home. She has only been known to completely unplug when climbing Kilimanjaro, and even then she carried her phone and solar-charger hoping to get a signal.

‘Tis the Season to be Using Social Media


The Holidays are upon us, and consumers are upping their phone usage, looking for Thanksgiving recipes, gift ideas, celebration outings, workout regimes… Now is a great time for businesses to develop an incredible online presence that consumers will appreciate and even have fun with.  Marketers can use social media to really connect with their customers.  Take the next few months to develop some fun, quirky social media campaigns to increase consumer traffic to your business!

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Use Social Media To Express Gratitude

November is the month of Thanksgiving.  Set aside a few days in the month to give thanks. Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, offer incredible platforms to announce gratitude for your consumers, your vendors, your employees, your industry, and those who inspire you on a day-to-day basis.  You can even take a couple days to just express gratitude for those things that all people can connect with – family, friends, freedom, health…  Inspire thanksgiving within your customers, and keep them intrigued – who and what will you thank tomorrow?  Use pictures to visually show what you’re grateful for, and use videos to verbally tell your customers, “Thank You!”

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Use Social Media to Take People Back to Their Childhood

December is a great month to bring out some nostalgia in customers.  You can take them back to their childhood with a daily advent calendar, and encourage curiosity for what they will find the next day. In your count-down to Christmas, you can have visual doors or packages opening to unique tips and advice that only you, the expert, could offer.  Some days you could offer a few discounts or special promotions.  Have some doors open to reminding customers to breath, and others encouraging holiday cheer.

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Use Social Media to Help Your Customers Keep Resolutions

January is a month of resolutions.  It’s a great time to encourage customers to make their lives easier by using your services.  Use videos to demonstrate industry “how-to’s” that you will remind them they finally need to get around to.  Offer inspiration for becoming the person, or business that they want to be, and use the insider quirks that only you can.

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Use Social Media to Express Your Love for Your Customers and Community

February is another opportunity for businesses to capitalize on a holiday in social media.  Use a social media campaign to celebrate the month of love!  Tell your customers and your employees that you love them!  Show pictures of your employees loving what they are doing, behind the scenes, and share some quotes from satisfied customers, who loved what you did for them.

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Using seasonal social media marketing strategies can help you to develop fun, quirky, and creative social media buzz, and it can make your customers to want to connect with you more!

We’d love to hear your ideas.  What are some creative ways you can use social media to connect during the holidays? And of course if you need help connecting with your customers during the holidays…CONTACT US NOW! 



Reagan Sowa Social media blogging marketingReagan Sowa received her bachelor’s degree in marketing from Southern Methodist University.  After working in various marketing positions for a few years, and helping her husband start and grow his business, she received a master’s degree in secondary education from the University of Denver and now teaches Business and Marketing.  She loves connecting with people, as well as skiing, running, writing, and reading, but her favorite thing in life is raising her two amazing children.

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